Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Though my ancestry is primarily Scottish and English there was German that sneaked onto the family tree in the late 1800's.  Their major contribution seems to have been to give me a love for beer and sauerkraut. The New Year's Day meal is pictured above.

I started by browning pork shanks in some oil, then removing them from the pot and adding onions, thyme and crushed juniper berries.  In went some chopped apples and then the pot was filled with fresh sauerkraut, a few bay leaves, the browned pork shanks and half a bottle of Riesling.  That slowly simmered away, covered, in the oven for two hours.  I removed it from the oven, adjusted some seasonings and added two racks of baby back pork ribs and it went back in the oven for another hour.  The entire house smelled wonderful.

There were cornmeal muffins to go along with the main dish and those were used to soak up some of the juices covering the plate.

The wine was a 2005 vintage Weingut Leitz, Rudesheimer Klosterlay Kabinett Riesling from the Rheingau region of Germany.  The bloom of youth was gone and the wine had a wonderful whiff of kerosene and then fragrances of ripe apples, pear skin and some lemon zest.  Perfect balance between sweetness and acidity and a great flavor of apples, a touch of pineapple and some apricot. 

Great wine with the sauerkraut as the sweetness played with the acidity of the fermented cabbage.  The acidity in the wine also picked up on the lusciousness of the pork, especially the juicy shanks.

The year is off to a good start.

8% alcohol and around $20.  Two more in the cellar.

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